Thursday, July 16, 2015

How to Help Your Publicist

with guest Christy Stroud.



Normally I’m pitching my own authors for guest posts on Seekerville, so I was honored when asked to write a post of my own. Thank you for welcoming me into your community!  

The life of a publicist can be challenging. Most of our pitches to the media never get responses. We’re happy to even get a “no” because at least we have an answer to give to authors, agents, and marketers. For an in-house publicist like myself, we’re also juggling multiple titles at various stages of the publicity process at any given time. This can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a people-pleaser and want to do the best you possibly can for all your authors. 

The media landscape is also constantly changing. There are fewer print magazines and smaller editorial staffs trying to do the same amount of work. Social media has changed the way people get their news. National media is no longer breaking the news. Instead, news breaks on social media and traditional media continues the conversation. This changes the way publicists and authors need to approach PR for their books. 

If you’re an author or aspiring author, here are a few ways you can help make your publicist’s job a little easier (and increase the chances of getting more PR for your book):

1. Be available. It’s extremely important to be available to do publicity around your book’s release. Ideally, you should keep your schedule more open the month before release, the month of release, and the month after release. This is the key window for publicity. Try to have time set aside where you can work on any articles, Q&As or guest blog posts your publicist may want you to write (even better if you write a few of these pieces early and send them to your publicist to pitch). Be flexible in your schedule if you can for any radio or TV interviews that come up, particularly during the month your book releases.

2. Be responsive. Radio stations will often send out several dates available for interviews to multiple people at once, so it’s imperative that you respond to your publicist’s request for an interview within 24 hours. If you take too long to respond, you may lose the interview because others have already filled up all the available slots. I tend to prefer emailing requests to my authors (as do many of my colleagues) because it gives us a “paper trail” to follow when looking back through emails, but if you prefer receiving texts for important interview requests or a phone call, be sure to communicate that to your publicist so she knows the best way to reach you. We don’t want you to miss out on a great PR opportunity!

3. Become an expert for the media. We have heard from countless media outlets that they are not looking to interview authors about their books. They want to talk to experts who can give their opinion on what is happening in the news. We know your book is important to you, but unfortunately unless you’re a well-known author, your new book release is not news. In order to increase your chances of getting interviews on broadcast media, you need to be qualified to speak on a certain topic. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need degrees in a specific area (though that will add credibility). You may have gone through a particular life experience that qualifies you to speak on a topic such as the loss of a child, infidelity in marriage, battling cancer, race relations, etc. If these topics are dealt with in your book, even better. That creates the perfect media tie-in. The interview will not be directly about your book, but if the host is doing his or her job, he or she will mention your book during the interview and may even link to a place for people to buy your book on their website. It can be a little more challenging for fiction authors to present themselves as “experts” in a particular area, so we generally do not pitch fiction authors for interviews, but if you do have an area of expertise your publicist can leverage with the media (our author Joel C. Rosenberg is a great example of this), be sure to let her know. 

4. Be prepared to continue your own publicity after the book launch. If you are working with an in-house publicist, after that initial three month publicity period, you need to be prepared to do some of your own publicity to keep the momentum going and to continue to engage your readers and fans. Unfortunately in-house publicists are already looking to focus on next season’s books, so we can’t give your book our full attention anymore (unless you have some really great momentum going). I continue to follow up on any requests I receive for my authors after the initial book launch, but I’m not able to actively pitch them to the media. There are independent publicists and PR agencies you may be able to hire to continue doing PR for you, but you could also do a lot of PR on your own for free. Tyndale provides its authors with a packet to help them continue their own publicity and marketing efforts after the initial book launch. The books that have longer shelf lives are generally ones where the author is very involved in promoting and marketing his own book. 

If you don’t yet have a publisher (or even if you’re already published), here are some suggestions to help you start doing some PR for yourself:

1. Begin building your platform. Work to build up a group of engaging followers on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. The number of followers you have is not valuable if your followers do not interact with you. Reply to tweets and comments, engage yourself in conversations about the topics in your book(s), blog about these topics. Start building yourself up as an expert in these areas and soon people will start coming to you when looking for information on those particular topics. 

2. Connect with influential bloggers. This is particularly good for fiction authors since blog reviews and blog tours are often a big part of our fiction campaigns. Find other authors or bloggers who are interested in your genre and start building relationships with them. Once you have that relationship it will be easier to ask later if they might review your book on their blog or allow you to write a guest post around your book’s release. 

3. Consider experimenting with Periscope. Periscope is an app that allows you to live-stream video. It’s connected to your Twitter account, but you need to download the app and sign in to use it. Last week my author, Rachelle Dekker, who wrote The Choosing, did a Periscope chat for about 20 minutes one evening. We were pleasantly surprised with the number of people who tuned in to her broadcast and asked Rachelle great questions about writing. It was a wonderful way for Rachelle to connect with her fans and she will probably do another chat in the future. This may not be for everyone, but if you are interested in connecting with your readers in a new way, consider exploring Periscope.

PR is one of those jobs where the effort put in does not always show in the results. We may have great pitch angles for an author who is willing and able to do anything and everything to promote her book, but we only get a handful of media hits. Or we may have authors do tons of major media like the Today Show, Fox & Friends, or Good Morning America and still not sell many books. That can be discouraging at times, but I love getting the message of great books out there. Even if one person’s life is impacted from a book I helped promote, that makes it all worth it. 

I am working on so many great books right now that I’d love to give away a bundle of some of them to one lucky winner!  (Winner announced in the Weekend Edition). Here’s what’s included in the giveaway pack:

Secrets She Kept ARC by Cathy Gohlke
God for the Rest of Us by Vince Antonucci
The Tank Man’s Son by Mark Bouman
Street God by Dimas Salaberrios
Praying Over God’s Promises by Tom Yeakley


Have you ever had a time where the effort you put into something did not show in the results? How did you keep yourself from being discouraged? 



Christy Stroud has been working in publicity at Tyndale House Publishers for seven and a half years. She has done PR for New York Times bestsellers such as Winning Balance by Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson and the Courageous novelization by Randy Alcorn. She has also worked with David Platt, Josh McDowell, Rachelle Dekker, Cathy Gohlke, Gina Holmes, Allison Pittman, Eva Marie Everson and many more.  Christy lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, 19-month-old son, and pug. You can connect with Christy on Twitter @ChristyWStroud or at her blog, christymwong.wordpress.com. Follow Tyndale as well @TyndaleHouse and visit us at tyndale.com. 


88 comments:

Mary Preston said...

I'm a reader, not a writer. How many authors would a publicist be working with at any one time?

Kara Isaac said...

Thanks for such an informative post, Christy! So many great tips for how I can be helping my publicist when my book releases :)

Elaine Stock said...

Christy, I've read several posts on how to promo for authors, but this one has been most helpful. Thanks much!

Cindy W. said...

Thank you for the great post Kristy. You asked the question, "Have you ever had a time where the effort you put into something did not show in the results? How did you keep yourself from being discouraged?" My answer is yes, and I have to say that I was discouraged for a time but then realized that maybe "my effort" wasn't something God wanted for me. In order to succeed in anything He must be in the center of our lives.

Your work sounds interesting and fun. I would love to be in the drawing for your giveaway.

Many Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Christy, good morning! Thanks so much for being here, you are one of the often unsung heroes of this publishing game. So thank you for that, for being there, so often!

Christy, I'm old school enough to believe an author's best publicity often comes from production... to keep on writing and get the book numbers up there. It's hard to self-promote a book or two and always feel behind... Would you agree with that?

Connecting with readers is so fun, but figuring out how best to do that is a trick. Thank you for all you do to make that happen for the Tyndale authors!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Coffee is here!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Christy! What a treat to have you on this side of the PR. We have my favorite banana muffins today!

Tina Radcliffe said...

You know, I have learned in this business to be a long range thinker and not get discouraged about day to day stats. You keep going and keep writing and a good product will rise to the top eventually. Word of mouth is everything.

Wilani Wahl said...

this post is great for not only the writer but also the reader. As a Writer I will need to know these things when I have a book ready to be published. That is in the future. However as a reader, I can see where this will be helpful to help the authors get the word out about their books. I love being on street teams.

I hope everyone has a great day. I am doing something I have never done before. I am going Blueberry picking.

Please enter me for the bundle of books

Debby Giusti said...

Christy, thanks for spending time with us today. Loved your comment about being an expert for interview purposes. Contacting media with that in mind would be a plus, for sure. Thanks for a great tip.

Debby Giusti said...

BTW, Joel Rosenberg is an amazing author. I'm amazed by what that man knows and his vision!

Debby Giusti said...

I'm adding fresh fruit and grits to the breakfast bar! The coffee's hot. Enjoy!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome, Christy! Thanks for sharing the terrific PR tips. How much of an influence do you think reviews have on sales?

Janet

Sarah Claucherty said...

Christy, as a hopefully-someday-I'll-be-published writer, I love all the details and tips for authors and PR in this post. Thank you for dropping in here at Seekerville!

Like Tina noted, I try not to get discouraged in the short term on projects and efforts, though it can be difficult. I keep my hope up for the future success of it, unless I feel that God is trying to lead me elsewhere; and honestly, I enjoy being in the background at times and watching my work impact others and how they experience the results of my efforts!

I'd love to be included in the drawing today!!

Sarah Claucherty said...

A question:

Are book trailers becoming a popular promotional tool for books now? I've noticed a number of them, but not terribly a lot.

Caryl Kane said...

As a reader I enjoy the facebook launch parties! It's a great way to interact with the author and other readers.

Deanna Stevens said...

What an interesting post today.. As a reader I am learning so much about writing & publishing.
As a quilter I have put hours into designing a quilt only to be disappointed at the outcome. Maybe I needed a publisher for the pattern?? Thank you for the tips...
I'd like to be included in the drawing :)

Christy said...

Hello, everyone! Thank you so much for having me today! I'll be working on replying to your comments as best I can! :)

Christy said...

Deanna, it can be tough when you invest so much time into something and the result isn't what you thought. I would love to see one of your quilts!

Christy said...

Caryl, thanks for that feedback. We'll definitely have to look in to more Facebook launch parties in the future. How have those parties worked best in your opinion (best day, time, format)?

Glynna Kaye said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Christy! And thank you for such wonderful, solid tips! What would be your suggestions for those who work a full-time (and then some) day job where "be available" is regularly such an uncertain and uncontrollable element in the equation?

Christy said...

Sarah, we do generally do book trailers for many of our books, but I actually don't use them too much when promoting to the media (unless they're really good). Do you feel like a book trailer makes you want to buy or read a book?

Christy said...

Sarah, I love seeing how my work impacts others positively from the background too. That's probably why I don't mind being in PR--the recognition doesn't go to us! It's good to have the long-term goal in mind. I'm glad the tips were helpful to you. Good luck in your writing journey!

Christy said...

Hi Janet! I think consumer reviews (like on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD.com, etc.) are extremely valuable. While I don't have any specific idea of how those reviews influence sales in terms of numbers (same with reviews in PW, Booklist or other publications), I know as a consumer, I only buy products that have good reviews. So readers definitely take them into consideration. I also think that the more reviews you can get, it will just increase your presence online and in the marketplace. If people see you and your book several times they may be more inclined to check it out.

Christy said...

Hi Mary! It depends on the season, but on average at least at Tyndale, we are working on 1-3 new releases a month so that would be 1-3 authors. But right now I'm working actively with about 6 authors at various stages of their publicity process. Since I've been at Tyndale so long we also still work with our backlist authors if requests come up too so it's hard to keep track!

Christy said...

Kara, I'm glad the tips were helpful to you!

Christy said...

Elaine, thank you so much for that feedback! I'm glad you found this post helpful. I have to credit some great PR people who talked about some of this at the International Christian Retail Show too--it just echoed what we've been hearing and seeing too.

Christy said...

Cindy -- Yes, if God is not at the center of the work then we need to redirect our focus. Great reminder! It definitely helps us remember that HE'S the one helping us succeed, not our own efforts.

Christy said...

Ruth, thank you for your kind words for those of us in PR. :)

I would agree that you have to be a great writer in order to get good publicity. If the book's not that great, any amount of reviews or PR you get could only hurt you if they're negative. I think though that authors always need to set aside some time to promote their own books because no matter how good your book is, if no one knows about it, you won't sell many copies and you won't get those publishing contracts to keep doing what you love! I know many authors, especially Christian authors, don't like the idea of self-promoting, but by connecting with your readers you can do it in a way that doesn't feel overly promotional. Plus, your book is like your baby. People kind of expect you to share it with the world! (I know I post probably way too many pictures of my son!)

S. Trietsch said...

Welcome Christy! I'm currently writing my first novel and PR is something that seems far off. I'll keep in mind to start platform building sooner rather than later!

Please enter my name in the drawing for the wonderful sounding book bundle!

Stephanie

Christy said...

Tina, thanks for having me! Great advice on having that long-range perspective. Yes, word of mouth is key!

Christy said...

Wilani, glad you found the post helpful! Blueberry picking sounds so fun! I want to do that some day.

Christy said...

Debby, I hope you can use the tip! And yes, Joel Rosenberg is amazing!

Pam Hillman said...

Great tips! Thanks Christy. I've seen some of the great PR for Rachelle Dekker's debut, The Choosing. Memes. Thought-provoking quotes. Videos. Good job! :)

My biggest challenge is knowing how much to share what I'm doing with PR. Sometimes I'm running around shouting.... kinda like the little kid selling newspapers yelling, "EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!!" I can see Alyssa and Shaina rolling their eyes when they get those excited emails from me! lol

But I am good. I save all my emails and send one with 5-10 bullet points letting them know what I'm doing. That way they can at least see at a glance without having to wade through 10 emails. :)



Christy said...

Glynna, that can be tough if you work full-time in addition to being an author. If you are able to set aside some specific days and times though when you can be available for interviews if needed (more-so if you write non-fiction), and give that info to your publicist ahead of time, she can try to schedule interviews during that time frame. I have worked with a cardiologist who obviously has a very busy schedule with patients and we set aside media days for him because he can't drop everything and rearrange his schedule to do an interview on short notice. If you can set aside some morning times and some afternoon times to hit the morning shows & the drive-time shows, that will help. But if a big national media opportunity comes up, I'd suggest trying to rearrange your schedule around that if at all possible. Those we just want to schedule when we get the chance and work around THEIR schedule.

Christy said...

S. Trietsch - Good luck on writing your novel! If you don't have a blog, I'd suggest starting one in order to begin building your online platform. Write about the topics you deal with in your book, life, the writing process...just some suggestions.

Christy said...

Pam, thank you! Good for you with sending all those PR hits in one email. :) I'm sure Alyssa and Shaina appreciate having fewer emails to wade through, but I know they're celebrating with all the PR hits you get too! ALWAYS feel free to share those things with your publicist. You can be a little more picky when choosing what to share on your social media accounts.

Jewell Tweedt said...

Thanks for the information. I need to get started NOW for my next release.
Please put me in the drawing.

Christy said...

Jewell, you're welcome! Good luck with your next release!

Bekah said...

Great post, Christy! It's fun to get to see you from the flip side of working with you in radio. I haven't worked on your side of things, but from the media side, I'd say you hit it right on target - and I always enjoyed booking your authors! :) Thanks for the informative read today!

Jill Weatherholt said...

Thank you for this informative post, Christy. I'll bet your job is never boring. :) Ruthy and Tina, I appreciate your input. Working full-time, there are times, I struggle with what I should focus on, but you're right...keep writing. I needed this today.

Christy said...

Thanks, Bekah! It's great to get that feedback from you too as a former radio producer. We loved working with you! :)

Christy said...

Jill, this job is definitely keeping me very busy!! So glad you were able to be encouraged today.

Janet Dean said...

Christy, you verify my thought that reviews matter, but my Love Inspired readers don't write a lot of reviews. Any suggestions for how to encourage readers to take the time to write a review? I know as an author I don't review books as often as I should.

Janet

Sandra Leesmith said...

Welcome to Seekerville and thanks for all those great tips. You do a great job at Tyndale House. I'm always telling my friends to get on your email list because you provide lots of great info on books coming out. I like the freebies too. They make me look at your ads because you never know. And then I'll see books that sound interesting. Great going.

Thanks again for the tips and have a fun day today.

Mary Connealy said...

Christy, what a great bunch of advice.
I always hope I work as hard for my publicists at Bethany House as they work for me. I'm trying to hold up my end of the bargain. You've got some solid advice for how I can. Thanks.

Christy said...

Janet, maybe you could offer some kind of exclusive content to your readers (like the first chapter of your next novel) if they write a review of your book and post it on Amazon (have them send you the link to verify). Or if you can, try to get advance reviews before the book comes out. Offer to send the readers an advance copy of your book and encourage them to post the reviews during the release month. Tyndale has the Tyndale Blog Network program that allows bloggers to receive finished copies of books a month before release. Then they read and review the books on their blog and on a consumer site. The chance to read your book early might be enough of an incentive to write a review!

Christy said...

Sandra, thank you! That's such great and encouraging feedback to hear from you too! I'll have to let our advertising and promotions team know. It's really the work of many different people here all coming together!

Christy said...

Mary, I'm sure you work hard for your publicists at Bethany. They will appreciate any extra effort you put in. We always love authors who work hard to help us promote their books. It makes our job easier!

Jackie said...

Hi Christy,

Nice to meet you!

I've never met Kyle Idleman, but I've heard him preach at a satellite church, and I've read one of his books. I'd love to be entered in the drawing.

Thanks for sharing today!

Christy said...

Nice to meet you too, Jackie! I guess that image is a little misleading in that Kyle Idleman wrote the foreword for "God for the Rest of Us." I couldn't fit the whole cover in there, but the actual author is Vince Antonucci. He's a great guy too though and the book is very timely for helping us learn how to show love in today's culture.

Sherida Stewart said...

Christy, what a interesting and challenging job you have....especially needing to be a "people-pleaser" in so many directions and balancing different projects! Your thought on the effort being worthwhile if you reach that one person who needs the message is exactly right.

As a teacher, I put all my effort into helping each child during the school year, but the final results would be in shown in the years ahead. Praying and hoping for their future successes was the best way to let go of that emotional attachment I had with every student.

Thank you for the peek inside a publicist's duties and for sharing ideas about how an author should be involved. Interesting!

Christy said...

Sherida, thank you for your comment! I understand all the effort a teacher puts in well too as my husband is a 5th grade teacher. Teachers have tough jobs too! I love that you pray and hope for your students' future successes. That's a great practice.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow Out of muffins! Bringing in the big guns. Carrot cake. Quick question. We are loving Rachel Dekker's memes for her debut release. Did she do them or the publicity dept?

Christy said...

So glad you all love Rachelle Dekker's memes, Tina! She does some of them herself, but we had our design department created some for her too.

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Christy! Thanks for the tips!

I'm working with a publicist for the first time for my March 2016 release, and I have had no clue how to work with her - what to expect, what the possibilities might be, what she might require from me, etc. I'm having a phone conversation with her in a few days, and your information has given me an excellent base line to start from. :)

Thank you, again!

Christy said...

Jan, how exciting! Congratulations on your new book! I'm glad you found this post helpful and hope you can put some of these tips into practice with your new release.

Julie Lessman said...

Christy, soooooo good to have you on Seekerville -- WELCOME!!

WOW, what a meaty post and one that needs to be earmarked by authors by pubbed and prepubbed.

YOU SAID: "We may have great pitch angles for an author who is willing and able to do anything and everything to promote her book, but we only get a handful of media hits. Or we may have authors do tons of major media like the Today Show, Fox & Friends, or Good Morning America and still not sell many books."

Goodness, everything you've said in this blog makes so much sense, but it was the above statement that really rang true and actually encouraged me for a number of reasons:

1.) It proves that when it comes to selling more books, nobody really has a pat formula for success. It's a guessing game at best, even if you do pitch a successful publicity campaign. I know of several authors who had guest appearances on national shows, movie deals, and tons of publicity, but that did not necessarily translate into sales as they'd hoped.

2.) It also proves that authors (or publicists) can't take it personally if publicity doesn't impact sales like they hoped, although that's the human tendency. The truth is in the best of times, the book market is unpredictable at the very least, but in times like today, where sales have slacked off across the board for so many reasons (ebooks, freebies, economy, etc.), it's like feeling your way in the dark, hoping for that one tiny spark that will light up your path and your career.

3.) Finally, your statement above pretty much reconfirms what I've come to know over the last year, and that is that "man can make his plans, but the LORD determines his steps." Which is sooooo true and sooooo very liberating, refocusing our attention on where it should be -- on God and HIS plan for our lives, not our own. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Tina Radcliffe said...

What's your opinion on swag? What sort of stuff is really useful for promos? Pens? Bookmarks?

Janet Dean said...

Christy, thanks for the suggestions. I will work on these with the next book.

Janet

Sierra Faith said...

I might be commenting twice.... thanks for this post! As an aspiring author this is really helpful!

Meghan Carver said...

Good afternoon, Christy! Thank you so much for this post. My debut novel with LIS releases this February, and I'm starting to make my lists already. I second Tina's question about swag, and thank you for your availability today.

Missy Tippens said...

Christy, welcome! Thank you so much for joining us today and giving us a peek into your job. Very helpful info!

Christy said...

Julie, YES--you are right on with everything you said! I'm so glad that statement encouraged you and you provide some great reminders in your response as well. I love that Proverbs verse too because it reminds me that no matter what I plan (and I'm a planner), what happens is not ultimately up to me, but it's up to God who will guide me through each step of the way. Thank you for sharing!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Wonderful, solid suggestions and advice, Christy--thank you! I'm doubly blessed to work with you and Tyndale and benefit directly from your expertise. I'm also amazed at the far reaching and diverse load you carry for all your authors. Thank you for all you do! We could never reach the number of people you do or even the number we do without your guidance. God bless!

Christy said...

Tina, people love free stuff. I can't speak directly into some of this because our marketing managers are the ones who create and budget for bookmarks, postcards, etc. I know it can be helpful for authors who are speaking often to have bookmarks to pass out at their events. We've had success with some authors who have large blogging communities around them by sending out nicely packaged little gifts related to their book to a select group of influencers. They don't necessarily ask these people to do anything promotional for the book because they hope that these friends will just be excited about it and will share about the book with their community and followers. I think a lot of promotion happens more online these days and through word of mouth, so if you can tap into those communities of people who would be interested in your book (get involved when you're not trying to get them to buy your book), that will help tremendously.

Christy said...

Janet - you're welcome!

Sierra & Miss - thank you for joining! I'm glad you found the post to be helpful.

Christy said...

Meghan, congratulations on your first novel! If you have any media contacts or local publications that you think would want to review your book or interview you, be sure to make a list of those to give to your publicist. We don't always know the media outlets people turn to in every market.

Lyndee H said...

Hi Christy, from another suburban Chicagoan (Plainfield)! Terrific ideas and suggestions!

Tina asked you a question I'm also interested in - swag. I use a lot of pens and rubber can openers from authors and I have to admit, I've never read their books. As a former Realtor, I used swag a lot! And I did have excellent responses from say, yearly calendars and cookbooks. When I went into potential clients homes, I'd see them on the shelf, counter, refrigerator, etc. And they would say I use your calendar every day. That was easy to figure out cost vs results. Not sure that would be possible with books. What is your view?

Thanks for the great post.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Great answer, Christy! Thanks for the suggestions! If you talk to the marketing peeps let us know what they say too!!

Christy said...

Cathy, thank you for your kind words! You do a great job using your connections and even setting up some of your own publicity. I'm always happy to work with you. You're so grateful and encouraging and that of course makes me want to do MORE for you and your books!

Christy said...

Hi Lyndee! I responded to Tina's comment about swag a little earlier up the comment line here, but as I mentioned, I can't say specifically whether or not we get a good return on investment in some of the swag we order for authors. I know one marketing manager who would do this often for conferences--like a water bottle or a pen with the author's book on it. Honestly I don't think it did too much for book sales. I think calendars like you mentioned are more practical (pens would be useful too, but I use so many different pens and don't always pay attention to the logo on them). Bookmarks I think are cheaper to print so you could always try those and maybe bring some to your local library to hand out or local bookstore.

Tina Radcliffe said...

What's a typical Christy day? On the phone aIot I imagine!

Julie Lessman said...

CINDY W SAID: "I have to say that I was discouraged for a time but then realized that maybe "my effort" wasn't something God wanted for me. In order to succeed in anything He must be in the center of our lives."

AMEN, Cindy ... this was a lesson I learned realllly well last year when I took an 8-month sabbatical, so you are WAY ahead of the game, girlfriend!!

TINA SAID: "I have learned in this business to be a long range thinker and not get discouraged about day to day stats."

A wise decision, Tina, whether one is talking books or a stock portfolio, eh? ;) I'm also partial to the 3 P's -- Patience, productivity, and prayer are a good combo to get the job done.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

WILANI -- you just made me hungry for blueberries, girl, but I have to buy them in the store, so I'm pretty sure yours will taste a whole lot better! :)

SARAH -- my publisher has done a handful of videos for me and other authors, but I think they told me they aren't all that successful when you factor in the cost.

CHRISTY SAID: "I think consumer reviews (like on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD.com, etc.) are extremely valuable ... I know as a consumer, I only buy products that have good reviews."

Christy, I sooooo agree and will even go so far to say that good reviews are one of the best ways an author can promote their own books, so I encourage that whenever possible. If I get a reader letter telling me how much they like my books, I always ask them to consider leaving a review because like you, whether a book has a lot of good reviews or not is a deciding factor for me in buying it.

Hugs,
Julie

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Christy, I like your idea of letting readers who write reviews get early copies of the next book. That would be a great incentive to review. Just getting a free book doesn't always cut it, I've discovered.

I agree about the swag. Sometimes it really comes in handy to have those bookmarks or business cards with my name and books listed--like when I meet a new set of friends. But most of the time, I never saw much happening with their use. Not enough of a ump in numbers to make it worth all the effort.

I agree with Julie. Some things just are meant to be. I also think our careers aren't always what they seem. Sometimes the Lord uses us in so many other ways than what we think we should be doing. I think He has a sense of humor --looking back. chuckle

Sarah Claucherty said...

Sometimes! Honestly it depends on the author and how the book is presented. For example, James Patterson's (especially the YA ones) make me cringe, but Julie Lessman's, Dee Henderson's, and other Christian authors' are usually quite intriguing and get me interested in the book.

Sarah Claucherty said...

I love the idea of a Facebook launch party, but I don't have a Facebook account, and I doubt I'm the only one in the world of Christian fiction/books fans. Do authors use other interactive SM for similar purposes, or are such launch events usually done on FB?

Pam Hillman said...

Sarah, my first "launch party" was right here in Seekerville. :) But I think most of them are on Facebook.

Danielle Hull said...

I'm not a writer, but an avid reader and participant in FB parties, street teams and promo on social media for my fav authors. I've met a couple of authors who really didn't know what to ask of us for the street team. And if I promo too much on FB, my non-reader friends get annoyed :) But I love getting to know the authors and all of the background that happens and people who do it thank to social media! Thank you!

Caryl Kane said...

Hey Christi, I've attended facebook parties on a weeknight. The parties usually last about two hours. It would depend on your schedule when it would work best.

Lyndee H said...

Christy,
Thanks for the shout back and detail regarding swag. LOVE the idea of providing bookmarks to libraries. That would open up a new, local audience for me. Great tip!

Thanks!

Christy said...

Tina, a typical day varies a lot because every day is not usually the same. Generally I'm always checking my email because that's primarily how we communicate with the media actually. Most media don't want us to call them on the phone (though this is not the case with all). We tend to like email too because it helps us have a "paper trail" of our correspondence so we can go back and look at it more easily than with a phone conversation. Today I spent most of the day pitching one of my authors for interviews. The other day I was working on creating press materials and building my media lists. Other times I'm mailing out books to the people on these lists or helping to manage our network of Tyndale bloggers. If something comes up then sometimes we have to tend to that and don't end up getting to the other things on our to-do list. We're definitely juggling a lot of things at once sometimes.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Christy, thank you so much for spending the day with us and taking time to answer our questions!!!!

Christy said...

Julie - yes, always ask people if they'll write a review for you on a consumer site. Most people will and it definitely makes a difference!

Sandra - It helps to know your audience. If just a free book doesn't cut it for them, maybe also provide them with some exclusive added content and value (whether it be a free excerpt, special gift, whatever you think they'd like).

Sarah - It's nice to hear that some book trailers make you want to get the book. In general I think they don't have a huge effect on sales, but it's nice to have.

Danielle - that's great feedback to keep in mind about street teams. I think it really helps an author launch a book when they have a select key group of people who are excited about their book and willing to share about it.

Caryl - Thanks for that info on FB parties. I'll have to keep that in mind if we do any for authors. What do they usually do in the FB parties? Discuss a certain topic? Do giveaways?

Lyndee - You're welcome!


Christy said...

You're very welcome. Thanks for having me, Tina, and everyone else!

Sandy Kirby Quandt said...

Christy, thanks so much for this helpful post. As a yet-to-be published author, it is good to know more specifically what I can do to help the publicist.

Christy said...

Sandy, You're welcome! I'm glad you found the post helpful!